Three family members who lost their sense of smell because of coronavirus escaped from their burning Texas home on Friday thanks to a fourth relative who does not have the illness.
“The fire broke out at around 2 a.m. Friday in the home at 2200 Joey Dr. in Waco,” KWTX reported.
However, 17-year-old Bianca Rivera smelled the smoke and alerted her three family members before it was too late.
“I don’t really count myself as a hero,” she told reporters.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, one possible symptom of the coronavirus is a “New loss of taste or smell.”
Symptoms also include fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and headaches.
“I started smelling burnt plastic and that’s when I got more alert and I ran outside of my room and I couldn’t even pass the hallway because it was filled with so much smoke,” Rivera said of the incident.
“I knew I had to wake everyone up,” she continued, adding that she opened their back door and got everyone out to safety. The teen also saved the family’s four dogs.
“Honestly it was just me protecting my family and getting them to save it didn’t matter to me if I was going to get hurt or I was going to get burned as long as I got them out safe and sound I was going to be fine,” she stated.
All of her relatives escaped the house with only the clothes they wore before Waco firefighters arrived at the scene.
In the wake of their loss, Rivera said her grandparents have gathered clothing and shoes for them to wear.
“Right now we are renting a motel room we are trying to find a residence at the moment,” she explained.
The Red Cross is assisting the family whose house was destroyed.
“I just did what anyone would else would do for their own family. I just wanted to get everyone out safe and alive,” Rivera concluded.